How to throw a Raclette party
The best kinds of parties are cheese parties – and let's be honest, as the weather gets colder we can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday night than gathering around a big wheel of melting cheese with all of your friends.
What you need to know about Raclette
If you’ve never heard of raclette, let us clear that up for you. Raclette is the name of a cheese AND the name of the dish it is used to make.
Raclette cheese is a semi hard cheese with a supple, pliable texture, it’s washed with a special brine during maturation which gives it a complex nutty, umami characteristics that come alive when you melt it.
Raclette the dish, comes from the Swiss mountain herders who would often have nothing more than cheese, boiled potatoes, crusty bread and a fire to build their lunches. Burning raclette involves melting the cut side of a wheel of cheese until it is gooey and bubbly, then scraping the melted goodness onto your chosen accompaniments.
How to Make Raclette at home
While you can buy grills specifically made to create this dish, there are other ways you can host a raclette party without the expensive equipment:
- Your chosen raclette can be sliced to 1/2cm thickness and placed under a grill in a cast iron skillet until bubbling and brown around the edges.
- You can lay thick slices of your cheese on top of a tray of boiled potatoes and place in your oven until melted.
- For the most authentic raclette party you can't beat an open fire. Not only will your guests love feeling toasty and warm, but you can melt your raclette using the heat from the fire. Put your cheese on a heat-proof plate and place it as close to the fire as you can without touching the flames.
When using an open flame to melt your raclette, watch the cheese get brown and bubbly, then carefully pick it up and use the back of a large knife to scrape all the melted cheese onto your plate to serve straight on top of your favourite sides.
Which Raclette to choose?
Go for something local, try Heidi Farm Raclette made by Swiss-Australian cheesemaker Ueli Berger in Tasmania. It recently won the Grand Champion Cheese (aka. Best cheese in Australia) at the 2017 Australian Grand Dairy Awards. Another great one to look out for is L’Artisan Raclette from Timboon in Victoria.
What to serve with Raclette
Beyond the potatoes and bread, here’s some other delicious morsels you can prep ahead of time for guests to choose from.
- Grilled asparagus
- Fresh figs (yes!)
- Good quality smoked ham
- Big juicy pickles
- Roasted cauliflower
- Roasted mushrooms
- A sautéed mix of apples, leek and fennel
- Fresh ripe slices of pear
So, what are you waiting for? Join in the raclette party and get melting!
Leftover raclette? Make this Raclette, Potato and Rosemary Focaccia